Chronic pain is a fast-growing epidemic. The American Chronic Pain Association established National Pain Awareness Month for September of each year. According to a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies:
- 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
- Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
- Three out of four Americans have either personally experienced chronic pain or have a close family member or friend who has.
- The most likely people to report pain lasting more than 24 hours are adults aged 45-64 years, while adults 65 and over were the least likely.
- A study by the National Institutes of Health found one in 10 Americans experienced pain every day for three months.
If you suffer from chronic pain, there are foods that naturally decrease inflammation, normalize the body’s responses, and lessen pain. Many of these foods speed healing, protect the cells from damage, and deliver essential vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients while they are at it.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Apple cider vinegar has been a home remedy for a multitude of ills for thousands of years. It has also been used to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
- Ginger– This spice is often used to reduce nausea, but it has been shown to be just as effective as aspirin or ibuprofen in reducing pain. Studies have shows that Gingerol, the active ingredient in ginger, works well against rheumatoid arthritis.
- Coconut Oil– Coconut oil has some natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a good choice to get your immune system on track while reducing pain. Many people use it internally and externally for back and joint pain.
- Berries and Grapes– Red, purple, and blue fruits contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that reduce pain and swelling. Try blackberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and red grapes.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is the pungent yellow spice used in curry. It is related to ginger and shares many of the same properties, fighting pain and inflammation.